Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fasting Again in Shawwal

Asalamu Alaykom,



This is a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).  


It's my second day fasting in the month of Shawwal.  Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar and it's the month of fasting.  Shawwal is the month after Ramadan.  See?

Muharram 
Muharram means "forbidden".  

First month of the Hijrah Calendar Islamic New Year
10th day is Ashura

Safar 
Safar means, "whistling wind"

Rabi-Al-Awwal 
Rabi means "spring"  Awwal means "first"

The Prophet (pbuh) was born in this month
63 years later passed away in this month

Rabi-Al-Thany
Thany means "again" 

Jumada Al-Awwal
Jumada means, "summer"

Jumada Al-Thany

Rajab

Mi'raaj the Prophet's Acension

Shaban

Ramadan 
Ramadan is derived from a word meaning, "intense heat"

Quran was first revealed
Month of fasting

Shawwal

Eid Al-Fitr

Dhul-Qa'dah

Dhul-Hijjah

Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca
Day of Arafat
Eid Al-Adha


I really need to learn these months.  We use both in Egypt.  Our calendar in the kitchen is split into half Gregorian calendar and half Hijrah calendar.  If you'd like to convert your important dates from the Gregorian to the Hijrah calendar, click here.  To learn more about the months and their historical significance click here.

There's a lot of referrences on that site about the Prophet children (pbuh) so here's another site to clarify who they were.  Really, it's amazing to me that a man so committed to the spread of Islam was still so grounded in his loving family.

Now back to fasting in Shawwal....

 if someone asks you, "When is Eid Al-Fitr?"  You could answer either, "At the end of Ramadan," or "The first day of Shawwal."  Both would be correct.

There is a reward in fasting six days of Shawwal.  If someone fasts Ramadan and six days of Shawwal the reward is as much as fasting the whole year.  It absolutely can't be the first day of Eid but it can be any days after that.  It doesn't have to be consecutively (but of course it's easier to get into a routine).

It's a good time for women to make up fasting days they missed due to menses.  It's tempting to wait until the days are shorter, the weather is cooler, and we're all rested up from Ramadan fasting.  However, I'm really hit this year with the idea of hastening to do a good deed.  If you know you should do something, then don't delay.  Procrastination does result in some sticky situations (like me waiting all year for a better time to make up the days and ending up fasting the longest days of the whole year).

Having said all that, it's a bit of a deja vue fasting in Shawwal.  It feels like I've done this all before.  I wonder a bit why I am once again FASTING in the heat of summer when I could be really enjoying myself.  I know that those are the whispers of Shaytan (he's out and about after his Ramadan lock-up).

The good thing is that I feel some renewed purpose to finish what wasn't accomplished in Ramadan.  Some of that means actual projects.  Yes, that book binding project in the salon is finally cleaned up.  It also means continuing to get my head straight.  I have to be a little smarter.

Tomorrow I'll start posting the ideas which have been formulating in my brain.


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